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The W. K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded $900,000 to the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative to be used in the next four years. The award will fund current strategies related to school wellness, food systems and active living with an additional focus on the caregivers of children from birth to age five in Northeast Iowa.

Livestock producers who established a cover crop after corn harvest last fall are wondering how this will affect their crop insurance coverage for 2013, according to William Edwards, economist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will conduct a tomato grafting and pest management workshop on Tuesday, March 12, at Reiman Gardens in Ames. Presenters at the workshop are Ajay Nair, extension horticulturist, and Laura Jesse and Erika Saalau-Rojas, pathologists with the Iowa State Plant and Insect Diagnostic Lab.

Patrick Gunn is the new beef cow-calf specialist at Iowa State University. His first priority is to meet with as many beef producers on a face-to-face basis as possible.

In a single motion, pruning demonstrates both the art and science of horticulture. Perhaps that’s why so many homeowners get nervous and postpone or ignore the task. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach remove the mystery surrounding this routine practice.

Farmers will be able to check soil moisture levels around the state when Iowa State University’s Department of Agronomy upgrades weather stations at several research and demonstration farms.

The Iowa Learning Farms’ Wednesday, Feb. 20, webinar will feature Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture director Mark Rasmussen. The webinar begins at 11:30 a.m., and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.

Iowa military families also serve when a family member is deployed. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach can connect these families to support, information and resources to help them throughout the deployment cycle.

Many Iowans start planning their spring and summer gardens months in advance. For those planners and other garden enthusiasts, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach provides garden publications and resources.

Lifestyle changes, like eating a low-sodium diet and being physically active, can help reduce high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, or maintain blood pressure at a healthy level. February is National Heart Month and a good time to take action against this risk factor for heart attack and stroke, says an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach nutrition specialist.

Iowa Beef Center staff will conduct bull selection clinics just prior to three Iowa Cattlemen’s Association bull sales later this spring to break down the process of bull selection into simple steps and assist those attending with interpreting the EPD numbers in the catalog.

A workshop to train livestock producers and service providers on how to use the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2 (RUSLE2) and the Iowa Phosphorus Index for use in nutrient management and manure management plans is planned for March 20 in Altoona, Iowa.

Gardeners can get a jump on their gardens by starting seeds indoors. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach discuss the types of equipment and conditions needed.

A postharvest handling and food safety workshop for fruit and vegetable growers is planned by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  The workshop will be March 8 from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Union Oak Room on the Iowa State campus and broadcast to 12 host locations in Iowa.

Local community leaders, entrepreneurs and partners of Southeast Iowa’s local food system will learn strategies for regional branding, increasing agri-tourism opportunities and promoting local foods, arts and recreation at the Great River Regional Flavors Discovery Day on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host meetings in Madrid on Feb. 28 and Dubuque on March 6 to address emerging opportunities related to stover harvesting for the biomass feedstock needs of local industries.

Producers, consumers, business owners and anyone interested in developing Iowa’s local food system are invited to register for an upcoming conference, “Road Map for Resilience: Empowering Iowa’s Local Food Economy.”

Sometimes life is not fair — and that really can make a child mad. But adults can help children learn how to cope with their anger in positive ways. Get tips in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
 

About 70 percent of farmers report using at least one technology that provides them with Internet access, according to the 2012 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll. In addition, a basic cell phone was the most common communications technology used by farmers in the survey.